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Optimising energy efficiency – part two

World Cement,

Strategies to optimise energy efficiency

Several research projects are nowadays being conducted worldwide under the umbrella topic of enhancing energy efficiency in the cement industry. Innovative products and more efficient technologies related to cement manufacturing are therefore expected to appear on the market in the future, but still need a significant amount of time. Despite these new technologies, some methodologies and a wide range of services, which can directly or indirectly enhance energy efficiency, will continue to be employed by the cement plants:

  • Performance of internal and/or external energy audits.
  • Continuous education and training of the workforce.
  • Implementation of an Energy Management System in accordance with ISO 50001.

‘Energy management involves the systematic tracking, analysis and planning of energy use, and enables companies to maximise energy savings and improve energy performance continuously through organisational and technology changes’. In spite of the factors affecting energy demand in cement production being well known, the influence of their interactions needs to be taken into account. These factors include:

  • Available raw materials and fuels, along with other main constituents of cement in addition to clinker (market constraints).
  • The installed plant technology (technological constraint).
  • The required clinker and cement properties (market and normative constraints).
  • The specifications of the cement, as well as concrete standards (normative constraint).
  • Environmental legislation (regulatory constraints).

In order to attain a higher level of energy efficiency optimisation of the plant, the recourse to experts and external auditors to deal with such complexity may be required. The collection of precise process data plays a fundamental role in energy assessment. VDZ, as have other companies, has developed its own assessment methodology and has conducted technical energy audits worldwide for years. Depending on the objectives of the plant, technical energy audits at three different levels can be provided:

  • A-level-audit (assessment based on information available in the plant).
  • B-level-audit (assessment based on available plant information and on-site visit).
  • C-level-audit (assessment based on complex measurements on-site, such as mass and airflows, heat and energy balances, emissions, etc. and on available plant information).

This is part two of a three-part article written for World Cement’s April issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the April 2016 issue here.

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